New PC build PSU

Phil
Phil
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Topic 197611

I'm going to start building dedicated pc's for crunching. I plan on eventually having as many as 10 cruncher's going, so I want to standardize my equipment.

I've researched on the internet, but as usual it's hard to sort out the garbage info from the good stuff.

So, what do you guys think for a good quality manufacturer of power supplies? I'm looking for manufacturer and product series suggestions. PSU's will need to be in the 750 watt range.

Cases are rack mount http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811148063&Tpk=11-148-063 which are overkill for crunching but these old hands and eyeballs need the room to work. They also have the room for future upgrades and will be in service for many years to come.

Thanks in advance and Happy Crunching!!

archae86
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New PC build PSU

I think Seasonic is generally rather well regarded as a supply manufacturer--and I believe they make their own--not just a label, but certainly theirs are not real inexpensive.

If operating cost is a consideration, you'll want to give conversion efficiency some weight, though the manufacturer's tend to be a bit skimpy on giving you the full curve across load range.

Fortunately many of the supplies available have much higher conversion efficiency than was typical in the bad old days.

Phil
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Thanks Archae86. I'll put

Thanks Archae86. I'll put them on my list to check out.

Happy Crunching!

Jim1348
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I have bought 3 or 4

I have bought 3 or 4 Seasonics (330 watt to 550 watt, Bronze 80+) over the years, and are happy with them. They are efficient and quiet, though after 5 years the fan on one did get a little noisy at full load, but that is to be expected. And they do work at the rated load, unlike the cheaper brands.

But I have now standardized on the Rosewill 80 Plus Gold from Newegg; they are even more efficient for the price, and are frequently on sale. I have just had them a year or so, but no problems thus far.

TimeLord04
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I just had my current

I just had my current cruncher built by Central Computers of Pleasanton, CA. I had them use an Antec TruePower Gold 550 Watt PSU. It has a five year warranty on it, and it cost $95.95 plus tax. Their less expensive, (Non-Gold Non-TruePower line), unit was another 550 Watt PSU at $69.95 Plus Tax. Antec is a very HIGH rated PSU.

If they are still in existance; I also like PC Power and Cooling's Turbo-Cool line. Inexpensive and TruePower rated... Back in the day, a 300 Watt supply gave you 300 Watts, no problem. I still have these in my K6-2, 350 MHz systems; however, these three systems are sitting in storage right now.

TimeLord04
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Gary Roberts
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RE: I'm going to start

Quote:
I'm going to start building dedicated pc's for crunching. I plan on eventually having as many as 10 cruncher's going, so I want to standardize my equipment.


No argument at all with that. The biggest problem is that unless you really research things properly, you could (in your eagerness to get going) end up standardising on something not quite as good as it could be. To choose properly you need experience and to get your own experience you need to choose :-). In other words, take plenty of time to research and think things through.

Quote:
I've researched on the internet, but as usual it's hard to sort out the garbage info from the good stuff.


Come on now, there are plenty of good hardware review sites out there to point you in the right direction. It's not the quality of information that's the problem, it's the time to consume it :-).

Quote:
So, what do you guys think for a good quality manufacturer of power supplies? I'm looking for manufacturer and product series suggestions.


As archae86 says, good brands (like seasonic and others) that manufacture their own product rather than rebadging that of someone else, are preferable. You should trawl through lists like this one (just as an example) and get some idea of how models you might be interested in really do perform. If you study the full articles in detail you can get a lot of good information to help you choose.

Quote:
PSU's will need to be in the 750 watt range.


Why? You should configure a machine first and work out how much power it will use. PSU's usually work at their best efficiency if they run at around 40-60% of rated load. So your best choice is likely to be a high efficiency unit that is rated at around 1.8X to 2X your design load. Without knowing your design load, it's a bit hard to make a proper choice of PSU. You really should choose the PSU last, once you have worked out what you want to put in a machine.

Your biggest choice is probably what GPU you will use and how many you will install per machine. You should really think that through very thoroughly before worrying about a PSU. You need to properly consider that Einstein GPU apps tend to be hungry for PCIe and memory bandwidth. It might sound like a good idea to invest in a multi PCIe slot board and load it up with high end GPUs, but unless you are very careful with your choices, the performance may be quite sub-optimal.

I'd be very much the wrong person to advise you about that since I don't run any multi-GPU hosts. My design choice was to use single slot budget boards and to keep well away from the high end (power hungry and expensive) GPUs. So all my machines have a single, mid-range at best, GPU. The motherboards cost around $50 and the GPUs around $130. With an i3 type CPU, I get well over 70K RAC per machine. These hosts draw well under 200 watts from the wall and each one has 2x175W PSUs, one powering the motherboard and one powering the GPU.

I've built quite a few machines like this over the last 12 months or so and they run very well. The PSUs actually were built in 2002 and I acquired them in around 2007 when I bought over a hundred machines at around $10 each at a computer auction. The machines had Tualatin P3 CPUs (just before the P4s were launched) and had P4 capable PSUs with around 100W 12 volt capacity. They seem to be perfect for powering an Ivy Bridge or Haswell i3 these days. I've not had any of these PSUs fail, even though I ran the original machines on this project for a couple of years after I bought them.

Quote:
Cases are rack mount http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811148063&Tpk=11-148-063 which are overkill for crunching but these old hands and eyeballs need the room to work. They also have the room for future upgrades and will be in service for many years to come.


High strength, steel (very heavy) 4U server cases - I'm glad it's you who'll be manhandling them!! You need something small and light that you can leave open for ventilation. Extra fans draw power. You need to design for natural ventilation if possible. When I can, I'll post a picture of a case setup that works very well for me.

Good luck with your research - you really should take the time to do it.

Cheers,
Gary.

Phil
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Thanks for the post Gary. All

Thanks for the post Gary. All good info and advice.

I have researched on the internet, hours worth. It's funny that as much as I live on the internet I have an inherent mistrust of it. Anybody can post anything they want. Maybe I'm too cynical in that regard, but on the plus side I have found these forums to be an excellent source for all things BOINC.

Sometimes, when I am in the position of not knowing what questions to ask, I'll just throw something out there in the hopes of getting a response just like yours. You not only gave me some solid basic info, but also gave me a different way to look at the entire build process.

I thank you for that.

As far as that case goes ( rofl..........) there are many reasons I chose that case, all of them valid, although I might add bench pressing it for fitness..

Thanks to all of you who have responded.

Happy Crunching

MarkJ
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All mine are Seasonic. Some

All mine are Seasonic. Some 500w, some 750w. I could actually downsize the power supply a bit on the machines without GPU's as they don't need 500w but I recycled them from some Q6600 boxes as I upgraded. Haven't had one of them fail yet. Currently have 10 i7's in the farm.

I also have a Corsair 1000w that I use from time to time, its a few years old now and hasn't missed a beat.

I prefer to get modular power supplies as you don't always need so many PCIe and SATA power cables in each machine and keep the spare cables for when you change things around.

mikey
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I too build my own machines

I too build my own machines but use commercial, ie cheap, cases or reuse old ones. The newer ones I am buying, on sale only, have been with the psu at the bottom instead of the top as it stands upright. I also only buy 750 watt or 850 watt psu's. I do this not for my current needs, but because I usually upgrade my gpu's MUCH more often then I do the rest of the pc, this keeps me from buying new ones as my needs change. I also buy refurbished drives, I have found 160gb drives work well and I got a stack of 6 of them for 25 US dollars each on sale from Newegg. I also do full image backups once a month, so if a drive crashes I can be backup and running in about an hour, I use Macrium Reflect as it is free and can be back up and running in about an hour if a drive crashes. 99% of my pc's do not have cd/dvd drives in them as they just draw power that is rarely used, I have an external one I use if needed.

As for which brand of psu to buy I am not picky, I have found all of the brands to have failed on me at one point or another, so I buy what is on sale. I try to buy the gold ones, but usually end up with lesser ones due to the price premium for just a little bit of cooling. The gold, bronze, whatever refers to how efficient it puts out the power, ie gold is more efficient so runs cooler then the bronze etc when putting out the same wattage.

The one other thing to think about when running multiple pc's is the heat they will put out! I have 11 pc's running in my basement right now, 9 with mid to high end gpu's in them, and it is 84.4F down there WITH a whole house a/c running AND a stand alone floor model a/c unit running too!! The problem is WHERE the pc's are, at the end of a large area with no windows to exhaust the heat out of. So I am trying to force the a/c in and suck the heat out all the time. It has reached into the low 90's in the summer time down there and is NEVER below the mid 70's even when it is below freezing outside! In the winter time I do turn the whole house and stand alone a/c units off. My electric bill is twice my neighbors, we have similar family and home sizes, so be prepared for that too! I have a 3 story Colonial style home and have pc's running, and crunching, on all 3 levels.

tbret
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RE: I'm going to start

Quote:
I'm going to start building dedicated pc's for crunching. I plan on eventually having as many as 10 cruncher's going, so I want to standardize my equipment.

How did you come-to the number 10?

Is that the amount of rack-space you have available, or is there some other measure at work?

Quote:

I've researched on the internet, but as usual it's hard to sort out the garbage info from the good stuff.

The good power supplies are almost always immediately identifiable by price, unfortunately.. You didn't really indicate a desire to save money, so if money is no object, find the expensive stuff and buy it.

Quote:

So, what do you guys think for a good quality manufacturer of power supplies? I'm looking for manufacturer and product series suggestions. PSU's will need to be in the 750 watt range.

This conversation gets a little weird. You said that these machines (or at least the cases) will be in service for many years.

It is, in my current estimation, a mistake to buy a lot of armored top-flight equipment capable of repelling the barbarian hordes because it'll likely be outdated before it dies.

Brands? I have recently stopped buying new PC Power & Cooling power supplies. Well, it feels recent to me. The company was bought-out by another company that started re-branding lesser units and has gone bankrupt, themselves. Yet another company has recently acquired the brand. Any good? I don't know.

Why mention this? Well, if you'll go look at their website and look in the "buy direct" area, you'll find refurbished units for sale for very reasonable prices. The venerable Silencer 750 Quad can often be had for $80-90. Those are the "style" that PC Power & Cooling produced when they were the cat's meow and commanded a high price premium. (back before the Earth cooled)

While my personal experience with these specific refurbished PSUs is very good, I'm not suggesting you do the same. In fact, I suggest you don't. I don't think they have enough fan capacity in your situation.

What I am saying is that sometimes you can get bargains if you are bargain-hunting by knowing where to look.

Unfortunately, in addition to my five or six old Silencer 750 Quads I also own three of the PC Power & Cooling "Silencer Mk II 950w" power supplies from OCZ and two of them have-had to go back for replacement, and recently I received a replacement that was DOA that had to go back yet again. Those were purchased "new", no refurbs. In other words, PC Power & Cooling isn't what it used to be.

The point being that a "brand" doesn't mean much when manufacturing facilities are changed, ownership changes, QC changes, design changes, etc. So unless you are buying all of the power supplies for all ten machines *right now* whatever you decide is best now may not be by the time you decide to build numbers 2-10.

I trust JONNY GURU, I wish I had read his review of the Silencer Mk II 950 before I bought three.

The advice you've already received regarding buying units with the *real* manufacture's name on it is good advice, although I've never followed it. I'm always on the prowl for a "deal."

To quickly replace the last dead Silencer Mk II 950 I bought one of these: [url=http://www.corsair.com/en-us/power-supply-units/rm-series?power=1000%20Watts|]Corsair RM 1000][/url]

I loves me some modular power supply. For reasons I never even took into consideration before, I really, really prefer them. Talk about easy to use. Wow. And you don't have to hide all the useless extra cables you don't need, you just don't use 'em and life is good. I'm not going to suggest you buy what I bought. It's a fairly new "series" and I don't have much history with it.

However, it's an actual suggestion that you look for FULLY modular power supplies when you are shopping. It's much easier to route cables and change things when necessary.

Quote:

Cases are rack mount http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811148063&Tpk=11-148-063 which are overkill for crunching but these old hands and eyeballs need the room to work. They also have the room for future upgrades and will be in service for many years to come.

Ok, I accept that you have your reasons and that these cases have their virtues.

I see a potential problem.

Even in other cases blowing 200mm case fans in on the front and having one or more on the sides, one on the bottom, and one or more on the top, it's still challenging to keep multiple GPUs cool. The more powerful the GPUs are, the harder it is to keep the case air, and by extension the GPUs, cool.

While I see lots of potential for getting air into that case and blowing it around inside the case, I'm less thrilled with the provision to evacuate that hot air out of the case.

Because of what I see when I look at the case carefully, I'd suggest you confine your GPU-buying to only those cards with a squirrel-cage type fan at one end that exhausts out of the case at the other.

There are some great cooling solutions out there that don't do this. I've been recently impressed with NVIDIA's new ACX coolers, for instance, but I don't think that's going to work for you.

If hot air is allowed to blow out of the sides of the cards the interior of that case is going to get hot in a hurry with multiple GPUs in it.

I'm not suggesting you do what I've done, I'm just giving you a point of reference. I had a computer in an Antec 900 case which was very happy running two GTX 560Ti cards and a six-core CPU without heat issues, but only after I installed a Corsair H80 closed-loop water cooler and radiator and used two GPUs that exhausted out of the back in addition to a large-fanned PSU pulling air through the case. Only a very small amount of heat was exhausted into the case and it was evacuated by the GPUs, the radiator fans, the PSU, and the fan out of the top of the case.

I ended-up doing that after being unable to adequately cool two GPUs that vented into the case even after the H80 was installed. Those ended-up moving to much larger cases with even more fans.

I'm not sure you even can do the liquid-cooled CPU-route because that case specifies 80mm fans in the rear, not the 120 or 140mm fans that are commonly in cases these days. I'd probably use cool-running CPUs and not crunch on them.

To sum-up, I suggest you get video cards that exhaust out of the case rather than in, and that you don't try to standardize all ten machines at once (instead reading current reviews of what is available). Unless you are going to go from 1 to 10 very quickly, things will change.

And, btw, I don't consider myself some sort of self-appointed expert. I'm just trying to give you the benefit of my experience which is limited only to what I've experienced.

Alex
Alex
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RE: Ok, I accept that you

Quote:

Ok, I accept that you have your reasons and that these cases have their virtues.

I see a potential problem.

Even in other cases blowing 200mm case fans in on the front and having one or more on the sides, one on the bottom, and one or more on the top, it's still challenging to keep multiple GPUs cool. The more powerful the GPUs are, the harder it is to keep the case air, and by extension the GPUs, cool.

Take a look at [url]http://www.silverstonetek.com/raven/products/index.php?model=RV03&area=en&top=C]RV03[/url]
This might solve your problem.

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